We’re going to share with you a way that we earn cash back on purchases that we make online. Earning bonus cash from Rakuten requires very little effort, and you can earn cash back in addition to any coupon codes you may have!
Since signing up to use Rakuten, it has changed the way we shop online. This website is a must for those who make online purchases. We have already received a good amount of cash back ($111.68) in the last 12 months on orders we would have placed anyway, and we feel like we are getting more for our money.
It can be used for everyday purchases within your budget, or if you have saved up for something special that you have had your eye on.
Check out our Rakuten review!
What is Rakuten?
Rakuten, formerly Ebates, is a free app and browser extension that provides coupons and cash back rewards to customers when shopping online or in store at over 2500 stores plus specialty boutiques. It is one of the best cash back rewards programs offering members anywhere from 1% to 40% cashback on most items purchased through Rakuten. Cashback percentages vary.
You might be wondering “How does Rakuten make money?” Great question! Rakuten gets a commission from stores when you make a purchase, and instead of keeping it, Rakuten shares part of it with you. After you make an eligible purchase, you’ll earn cashback every quarter.
Getting started is easy and becoming a member is free! Rakuten members enjoy the discounts and cash rewards they receive from qualifying purchases on everyday items such as groceries, office supplies and sports equipment. You can also receive cash back shopping for a gift card at one of your favorite stores. Getting cash back online doesn’t get much easier than this!
How Does Rakuten (formerly Ebates) Work?
Rakuten pays members cash back on all purchases that qualify for a cash reward and provides them with coupons. Each store gives a percentage or a set amount of cash back on each purchase, which can be viewed beforehand right on the Rakuten website.
To earn rewards, you would follow these steps:
- Log on to your Rakuten account
- Search for the store or brand you would like to make a purchase from
- View the percentage or amount of cash back that store or brand is offering
- Click the link to that store, which will take you to their website (away from Rakuten)
- Shop as you normally do, and checkout as usual
Rakuten will let you know once the cash back bonus has posted to your account, or you can view it under “Cash Back Balance.” One thing we did to make Rakuten even more accessible is add the extension to our browser.
When you do this, Rakuten will let you know if they offer cash back for the website you’re browsing, when the cash back feature is activated, and when a purchase is processing. It will also allow you to quickly click on the extension and take you to their own site.
Is Rakuten Legit?
Absolutely! We personally use Rakuten on every online purchase we’re able to, so we can assure you firsthand that it is definitely legit! Rakuten makes their money by referring shoppers like us to online stores such as Amazon or Kohl’s. The stores pay them for referring us, and they payout a cut of that money to us in FREE cash back.
Is Rakuten Safe?
Yes, Rakuten is safe! Since it was founded in 1998, Rakuten has paid members over $1 billion cash back. Once your purchase is confirmed, you will see the cash back in your account and receive an email from Rakuten when it’s on the way.
Rakuten has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau with over 350 customer reviews. We use the app ourselves and find it to be a great way to shop and earn money while sticking to our budget.
Which Stores Can I Earn Cash Back From?
Rakuten currently gives the option to start earning cash back at over 2,500 stores online. Popular examples include:
- Bed Bath and Beyond
Rakuten Welcome Bonus
Rakuten offers an awesome welcome bonus for new members as a way of thanking them for joining the Rakuten family. You receive the sign up bonus after you spend $25 or more within 90 days of becoming a member.
You don’t want to let this cash reward expire! Make sure you purchase:
- At any store on Rakuten.com offering cash back
- At any store on the Rakuten Mobile App that offers cash back
- At participating Rakuten in-store cash back merchants
Rakuten is currently offering $30 cash back (limited time offer) as part of its introductory promotion when you sign up by clicking here. Check it out before the promotion ends!
The perks don’t stop there! Check these additional reasons to try Rakuten today!
- Rakuten is completely FREE! There are absolutely no fees!
- You can still use coupon codes, promotional codes and other discounts while you’re shopping.
- It is easy to sign up and use.
- You were going to make these purchases anyway, so why not save some money!
- We were able to earn $82.49 in the first five months of using Rakuten
How to Use the Rakuten App
You can get cash back anytime, anywhere by downloading the free mobile app on your device. Rakuten makes earning cash even easier with its user-friendly app. Get cash back easily when you shop at grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more!
Want to know when you’ve earned your cash bonus? Turn on notifications on your device to stay in the know.
Here’s how to get the most from your free Rakuten membership when you signup:
To login, you will enter your email address and create a password. In less than one minute, you’ll be a member and have access to all the benefits Rakuten has to offer.
Rakuten’s cashback site is easy to navigate, giving you instant access to thousands of cash back deals including triple cash back rewards at some of your favorite stores. The hot deals are constantly updated, so make sure you check back often.
Linking your PayPal account can be completed on the Rakuten website or mobile app in minutes. Payments can be sent via PayPal to the account of your choice. Rakuten will ask that you complete verification when you select this method or update your email address to ensure your account stays safe and secure.
How Do I Redeem My Cash Back?
Rakuten makes redeeming your cash back rewards amazingly simple. When you cash out, you can either receive a Big Fat Check (as they call it) or link your PayPal account for a hassle-free deposit. Rakuten sends payments every three months and will notify you via email when it is ready. You can check your Cash Back Balance anytime on the Rakuten website or the mobile app.
Rakuten Reviews From Around the Web
Overall, Rakuten has received thousands of positive reviews. Customers who have started using Rakuten are saying it is a great way to get paid for shopping for items you already need. Members are given thousands of retailers to choose to make purchases from and can instantly see the savings and earnings provided by Rakuten.
Rakuten’s customer service has also received rave reviews, stating they are professional, friendly and resolve issues quickly and efficiently.
Rakuten is a great option for anyone who loves to shop online, get cashback rewards, and save money in the process. It’s definitely a winner in our book!
Alternatives to Rakuten
Ibotta gives you money for your purchases. Whether it's qualifying items from a grocery receipt or discounts through linked websites - saving money is simple!
- Earn up to $20 in welcome bonuses
- Free & easy to use
- Features hundreds of retailers
- Offers are store specific
Honey is a free app that helps you find some of the best coupon codes on 30,000+ sites. When you’re shopping for pizza, picking up shoes or booking travel, Honey will scour the internet to find you the best price.
You can shop through the app or using the browser extension to be a part of the reward program called Honey Gold. This cash back program allows you to earn up to 20% back on purchases. The difference here is that you’ll receive gift cards rather than straight cash back. That’s still a great deal if you ask us!
More Ways to Earn Cash Back With Rakuten
Rakuten Cash Back Button
Never miss out on a chance to earn free money! When you download the free Rakuten browser extension, you activate cash back reward directly at retailer sites. The Cash Back Button automatically applies the best coupons at check out.
In Store Cash Back
With Rakuten, you can earn cash back in person, just as you would online. Search the Rakuten app for cash back offers at select stores. Once you select a cash back offer you like, link your debit or credit card to earn the reward once it is purchased with that card. As soon as the store confirms your purchase, you’ll see the cash back in your account. Yes, it’s that easy!
Refer a Friend
If you get excited about cash back rewards, we know your friends will too! Earn cash bonuses for telling others about Rakuten. The Rakuten referral program is a great way to earn extra cash when your friends enroll. The more you refer, the more you earn.
Rakuten Review: Is Rakuten Worth it?
Rakuten definitely gets two thumbs up from us. Rakuten is one of the safest cashback sites and provides an easy way to earn membership rewards while doing something you already enjoy. Rakuten has changed the way we do our online shopping and allows us to stay within our budget. We are sure you’ll discover it will do the same for you as well.
We are happy that we’re able to share with you another tool to help you on your FIRE journey. It’s time to start shopping smarter. It may not seem like much, but every little bit adds up. If you’re like us, shopping online is more convenient, and Rakuten (formerly Ebates) will add additional value to that experience. If you’re an online shopper, Rakuten is for you! Get paid to shop today!
Have you ever used Rakuten while shopping? Let us know in the comments!
Samantha uses her BS in Finance and MBA to help others control their finances through budgeting, saving, investing, side hustles, and travel hacking. Due to following the FIRE Movement’s principles, she was able to quit her high-stress job in the financial services industry in July 2019 to pursue her side hustles. She is now a full-time entrepreneur, freelancing coach, and blogger.